Send in your ideas. Deadline June 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2019-10
End: 2022-10
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Handling Data from IPv6 Scanning

Scanning tools for scaling up IPv6 scans

Scanning is state of the art to discover hosts on the Internet. Today’s scanning relies on IPv4 and simply probes all possible addresses. But global IPv6 adoption will render brute-forcing useless due to the sheer size of the IPv6 address space, and demands more sophisticated ways of target generation. Our team developed such an approach that generally allows to probe all subnets in the currently deployed IPv6 Internet within reasonable time. Positive responses are however scarce in the IPv6 Internet; thus, we include error messages in our analysis as they provide meaningful insight into the current deployment status of networks. First experiments covering only parts of the Internet were promising and at least 5% of our probes trigger error messages. However, a full scan would lead to approx. 10^14 responses causing Petabytes of data, and demands an adequate solution of data handling. In this project, we will develop a data storage and analysis solution for high-speed IPv6 scanning. It will process the high amount of received data concurrently with scanning, and provide continuous results while scanning for long periods. This effort enables full scans of the IPv6 Internet.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

The internet, when you put it very simply, is like a phone book. If you want to reach someone, you pickup the phone (or fire up your device) and call a specific number (type in a website or email address with a particular domain name). Now that not only our computers need addresses, but also our phones, televisions, and even our refrigerators, we have been quickly reaching the point where the phone book becomes full.

Luckily, there are ways to make the phone book of internet addresses a great deal larger, so that there are thousands of times more addresses for all the sensors and devices we are currently installing everywhere around us. Switching from the old to the new phone book is not without problems however, and the new address space is actually so massive, we can hardly keep track of it all. This project takes a smart approach to scanning new internet addresses and will help us keep tabs on how the 'new' internet is doing.

Run by SBA Research

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.